London Calling: Is the Alan Turing £50 a Nod to Cryptocurrency?

This is probably going to sound silly, but hear me out: The Bank of England’s new £50 note featuring Alan Turing is a quiet nod to cryptocurrency.

What do you know about Alan Turing?

In multiple disciplines, you may have heard of him. He has the most prominence in cryptography and computer science but plays an essential role in military and LGBTQ+ history as well.

Is Fiat Money Turing Complete?

Turing was prosecuted for practicing homosexuality in the 1950s. The decade before, he had developed a system for breaking German ciphers and effectively assured allied victory.

Turing’s importance cannot be understated.

Now, in 2019, having been pardoned six years ago, the Bank of England wants to give Turing an honor: his portrait on the 50-pound note. They had almost 1,000 people in science to pick from, narrowed down to 12.

2019 is a particularly exciting year for cryptocurrency. The year of the Libra, we’ve finally seen people like President Donald Trump denigrate blockchain technology.

Facebook’s entry seems to have awakened the powers that be. The theory that governmental dislike of crypto gives it value will soon be put to the test.

Talks that have long been the realm of obscure cryptocurrency discussion groups are now on the national stage: Are Silicon Valley companies actively trying to undermine the hegemony of the US military intervention complex?

Now 2019 is also the year that the Bank of England recognizes Alan Turing.

But why?

Bank of England’s Quiet Nod to Crypto

With global influence waning, and the island nation moving towards political independence from the eurozone, could the 50-pound Turing be an invite to the nascent crypto economy? | Source: Shutterstock

Turing was one of 989 people who could have appeared on the £50. Notably, he beat out Ada Lovelace, widely credited with discovering the ability to program computerized machines.

Central bankers have focused on Turing’s contributions to computer science. While these are essential to his career, Turing’s cryptographic contributions had a bigger impact at the time.

Directly following the war that Turing helped win, the UK nationalized the Bank of England after over 200 years of independent operation. In the decades since, the UK has systematically lost much of its geographic power, with several protectorates maturing into independent states.

With global influence waning, and the island nation moving towards political independence from the eurozone, could the 50-pound Turing be an invite to the nascent crypto economy?

Is it a subtle call to the pioneers of decentralized finance — Albion needs you home?

After all, on the global stage, resources are what matter. The blockchain movement brings the latest in finance and technology, packed in one.

Will Britain rule the world again, this time from the comfort of a thriving blockchain industry?

Whatever countries accept and promote cryptocurrencies first will benefit. Countries who work to undermine crypto will suffer long-term consequences, such as the mass exodus of smart and upwardly mobile younger people.

So, Mark Carney: If this £50 Turing is our invite to bring the smart money back home, when come the real invitations?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to,

Last modified: March 4, 2021 2:38 PM

P. H. Madore

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for an investigation to He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.